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2 definitions found
 for Tonsure
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Tonsure \Ton"sure\, n. [F., fr. L. tonsura a shearing, clipping,
     from tondere, tonsum, to shear, shave; cf. Gr. ? to gnaw;
     perhaps akin to Gr. ? to cut, and E. tome.]
     1. The act of clipping the hair, or of shaving the crown of
        the head; also, the state of being shorn.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. (R. C. Ch.)
        (a) The first ceremony used for devoting a person to the
            service of God and the church; the first degree of the
            clericate, given by a bishop, abbot, or cardinal
            priest, consisting in cutting off the hair from a
            circular space at the back of the head, with prayers
            and benedictions; hence, entrance or admission into
            minor orders.
        (b) The shaven corona, or crown, which priests wear as a
            mark of their order and of their rank.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  tonsure
      n 1: the shaved crown of a monk's or priest's head
      2: shaving the crown of the head by priests or members of a
         monastic order
      v 1: shave the head of a newly inducted monk

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